GPS has become standard on smartphones and tablets. Virtually all handsets come equipped with a GPS sensor, allowing the phone to use navigation applications such as Google Maps, and location services to correctly mark their location in with applications, photos, and other similar tools. It’s one of the things that makes your smartphone ‘smart’.
The problem is that not all GPS sensors are built alike, and different phones have very varying levels of accuracy. While poor or no GPS signal can be a hardware problem, it is most often something that can be solved by adjusting system settings with some quick and easy solutions.
Cell phone GPS does not work: turn on the high precision mode
To get the best signal possible, you have to be prepared to use a little more battery power than you normally would. It is a necessary sacrifice, and you can always reverse this later when you do not need to use GPS. Go into settings and open the location option. Make sure all location services are on. Go to mode and activate high accuracy, which will make your GPS more accurate.
GPS does not work on Android: calibrate the compass from the mobile
A potential problem with GPS accuracy is an improperly calibrated compass. If this is the case, the device is receiving poor guidance information that will cause problems when using browsing applications. In order to fix this, you will need to calibrate the compass of your Android phone or tablet.
The device may have a native application to calibrate the compass, but if it does not, download a compass configuration or GPS configuration application.
If you have a compass application on your phone, use this. If not, download the application, GPS Essentials, which has a compass among other useful features. Then do the following:
- Open the application for the compass configuration
- Hold the phone in your hand with the compass application open.
- Rotate your phone in all directions and axes: from top to bottom, from bottom to top, left to right, right to left, rock the phone, move it from right to left, up and down.
This will recalibrate the compass of the device. Remember that your smartphone or tablet does not have a dedicated GPS, and an A-GPS or Glonass system (basically a “GPS outsourced”).
Find out if your GPS problem is hardware or software
With the GPS diagnostic applications available in the Play Store, you can also diagnose to see if the GPS signal is due to a problem with your Android system or if it is because of the sensors of the device with some defect.
From the applications main menu, click satellites or sensors. They will show some readings and values, or the number of satellites connected. Stay away from metallic objects, and preferably in a place where there is no obstruction of sight to the sky. If no signal is shown, or no satellite appears, it is a hardware problem, and you need to take your device for warranty or service. If there is a signal and the satellites are showing up, then you have a software problem, and the other tips in our article will help you solve the problem.
Update your phone’s GPS data to work perfectly
Sometimes the device will get ‘stuck’ on certain GPS satellites, even if they are not within range, causing it to not function properly. To fix this, you can use an application to clean your GPS data and start connecting to satellites from scratch.
In the application, open something like “GPS status”, and touch reset / delete data. Touch download / update data.
These are the simplest ways to fix a GPS problem. If you have more suggestions or if your issue was not resolved by our article, leave your questions in the comments. We are here to help!